I had been renting out my prperty whilst I was in Australia, but when I returned I discovered the tenant had left the house and the garden in a very poor state, and had failed to comply with many of the clauses of the Tenancy Agreement. I raised this with the letting agent who had provided me with the exit inspection report, which turned out to be totally inadequate and inaccurate. I requested all of the tenant’s deposit to be returned, as the cost of putting right the failures to meet the clauses of the Tenancy Agreement far exceeded the deposit. The tenant did not agree, so I agreed with the letting agent to go to arbitration thinking that I had a good case.
As requested by the agent, I prepared an extensive document, which on a room by room basis referred to the Tenancy Agreement clauses that the tenant had failed to comply with, and the reference number of the 90 photos that I provided as evidence. The report and the photos were allegedly submitted to the arbitrator by the letting agent, but were not listed as evidence in the arbitrator’s report or referred to. Invoices and quotations that I had submitted were also not referred to in the report, including an invoice and report from a pest extermination company for fumigating the house to kill off the carpet moth infestation that had ruined 3 good quality carpets. The only references in the arbitrator’s report were the assessor’s report and the inventory, which the letting agent denied existed, despite the arbitrator’s report stating it had been submitted by the tenant and prepared by the letting agent. So I can only presume that my evidence was not considered, as I was only awarded £165 out of a deposit of £850.
I have tried to obtain the truth from the letting agent, but their responses are either incorrect or ambiguous. I also wrote to the arbitrator simply asking for a list of the evidence that was submitted by the letting agent, but they have not responded, despite me including a stamped, addressed envelope. I am therefore left with a major deficit on what is has cost me to put right the issues, and what I received from the tenant’s deposit. As the damage was caused during the Tenancy, can I claim for some of this work, i.e. the scope that was not covered by the arbitrator, on my tax return, even though I am no longer letting the property?